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My Garden Diary

January and February 2015

Copyright © 2015 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. However, they may refer to entries on prior pages.

This diary has been visited times since I started it.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
19 January

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 61-75
Winter chill: 73 hours
Humidity: 41%
Wind: 0-8

Rain —
This season: 6.37
Days since last: 8

Finished pruning the roses with the climbing 'Peace'. After cutting canes shorter, it now stretches slightly more than 15 feet along the top of the slough wall at the bottom of My Hill. I won't be pruning the miniature 'Salmon Ovation' rose that is in a large flower pot on the patio; instead, I lightly trim it throughout its growing season.

The 'Flame' grape vine at the top of My Hill will suffer the last of my winter pruning.


Rain —
This season: 6.37
Days since last: 8

18 January

Overcast with scattered clouds, hazy sun, and mild

Temp: 60-72
Winter chill: 73 hours
Humidity: 30%
Wind: 2-10

My grandson (7 years old) helped me to rake leaves on the side of the house and on the main patio. He also enjoyed himself jumping into a large pile of leaves on the patio.

The leaves on the back lawn will soon be removed when I have the lawn mowed next Saturday.

Pruned the climbing '4th of July' rose in front. It seems to have more thorns per inch of branch on branches that are much longer than shrub roses.


Rain —
This season: 6.37
Days since last: 7

15 January

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 54-67
Winter chill: 73 hours
Humidity: 24%
Wind: 1-12

With the recent cold spell (now done and passed), my trees are losing the last of their leaves. I raked the front but left the leaves in back because the garden-waste bin was more than half full.

Needed to leave room in the garden-waste bin so that I could prune more roses. I did the four shrubs in the rose bed in back along with the climbing 'Dublin Bay'. I still have to do the climbing 'Peace' and climbing '4th of July', each of which involves the effort of pruning two or even three shrub roses. I also have to prune the 'Flame' grape at the top of My Hill.


Rain —
This season: 6.37
Week: 1.34

8 January

Mostly cloudy, some hazy sun, mild

Temp: 61-73
Winter chill: 73 hours
Humidity: 30%
Wind: 0-10

Rain —
This season: 5.03
Days since last: 21

Although the nearby Cheeseboro weather station — about 2 miles east of my house — indicates the minimum temperature over the past two weeks was 37°F, my garden suffered some freeze damage. Some of the white-flowering Cuphea hyssopifolia in the back rose bed might have to be replaced, but I'll wait until spring to determine which ones are truly dead. The pink clover (Persicaria capitata) ground cover in both front and back has significant die-back, but it also has a heavy mulch of leaves that likely protected what is close to the ground. I expect the pink clover to recover. The statice (Limonium perezii) in the east bed in back is still flowering; in 2007, all of them died in a freeze. I have not seen any damage to my dwarf citrus.

Pruned the 'Perlette' and 'Black Monukka' grapes near the bottom of My Hill. The 'Flame' grape at the top of My Hill will be pruned soon.

1 January

Clear, sunny, and cold

Temp: 38-55
Winter chill: 47 hours
Humidity: 32%
Wind: 4-12

Rain —
This season: 5.03
Days since last: 14

A wind storm two days ago delivered gusts of 56 mph, breaking a major limb on the Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum), which I cut away today. Unlike The Tree, on which major limbs are a foot or more across, a "major limb" on the tea tree is about an inch across.

True to a tradition of mine, I pruned another rose in front. I do some pruning every New Year day. This time, however, it was too cold to continue with other roses. I still have to prune the climbing '4th of July' in front and all the roses in back. I must also prune the grape vines on My Hill, which I dread climbing.

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year. Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also The Climate.
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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